The Washington Capitals activated goalie Darcy Kuemper off injured reserve Monday afternoon, according to a team release. In corresponding transactions, they also returned netminders Zachary Fucale and Hunter Shepard to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Washington’s been without Kuemper since December 3, when he sustained an upper-body injury in a loss against the Calgary Flames. The 32-year-old has been inconsistent at times with the Capitals but still has strong numbers overall. Despite an 8-9-2 record, he’s still managed a respectable .916 save percentage, 2.56 goals against average, and two shutouts in 20 appearances.
Backup Charlie Lindgren started every game in Kuemper’s two-week absence and did not disappoint. Not including his relief appearance against Calgary, Lindgren helped get Washington solidly back into playoff contention with a .938 save percentage and a 6-1-0 record in his past seven games.
Some were excited to potentially see the 27-year-old Shepard get his first NHL start, but it wasn’t to be. He returns to Hershey, where he has yet to lose in regulation through eight games.